Wondering if anyone knows of a website with some typical examples of the different grades of granite --- especially Grade A which is included with my builder's quote.
You are confusing a price designation with a non existant quality designation. Pricing group A is the least expensive group, but that has nothing to do with the quality of the stone. There is no universally accepted quality grading program in stone to be able to compare one Uba Tuba slab to another.
Your builder's Group A priced granites may be completely different than another builder's or fabricator's. It's based on the price he and you pay. And that will vary widely according to your location, transportation costs, fabrication costs, and the ability of him or his distributor to negotiate a bulk buy. The only place to get a list of his Group A stones is from him or the fabricator that he is working with.
I totally agree with GreenDesigns. Furthermore, one stoneyard's "Grade A" may be different than another stoneyard's "Grade A" that is just across town, or even just down the street. There is almost zero consistency with Grade A classification.
My suggestion is to go to stoneyards on your own, and not rely just on your builder's stoneyard. Your builder's supplier may not have a good selection, or may not have the particular stone you've fallen in love with.
Gotcha. It actually has more to do with the Kitchen Designer that he and I are working with than with the actual builder himself.
I will need to go and see the granite myself. Was planning on this but just wanted to see if there was something I could research before hand.
I do think you should study up ahead as best you can. For me, shopping for granite was like shopping at fabric stores with my mom when I was a kid. Visualizing the fabric on a dress or top was hard.
I'd recommend you look at idea books (houzz.com is rightfully popular here) and print out or bring links of a few of your favorite kitchens, noting the kinds of colors and styles in your countertops you seem drawn to. That may help you from sensory overload at the granite yards.
Granite yards in our town move the new shipments of granite in to any open spot in the floor. So, you will not find a row with all the A-level stones next each other. And wouldn't you know it? The beautiful C-level next to that A-level is the one that will catch your eye.
When we were about to begin our granite search we went to our fabricator first. He gave us a list with pictures of granites that were considered stock or level one granites which were less pricey than others. He also gave us a list of area stone yards which carried those level granites as well as many other level of granites. I ended up using one of those so called stock granites but I had to go to 4 stone yards to find a slab that was just right. Even if they are considered stock, level 1 or grade A the slabs will vary from place to place so I recommend that you spend some time searching at more than one stone yard.